By Lewis S. Teh
Dozens of potential voters at Caldwell Northroad Precinct have described National Elections Commission (NEC) workers as a group of unqualified and incompetent individuals.
They expressed frustration at those hired by NEC authorities to conduct electoral process in the area.
Some of those unhappy with the election workers in Montserrado Electoral District #15 said they woke up as early as 6 a.m. with anxiety of casting their ballots.
Potential voters trooped their way at the Garden of Prayer Pentecostal School System in the early morning hours but could not vote immediately.
The NEC workers there could not immediately put the necessary things in place to begin accepting voters in.
This led voters who were standing in long queues to blame NEC authorities for allegedly selecting unqualified and incompetent individuals to serve as election staff at various precincts across the country.
In an exclusive interview with this paper Tuesday, 10 October 2023 at the start of the voting process, Mr. Jeremiah Diggs lamented that he had faced difficulties in finding the main room to cast his ballot.
” All these individuals who are working for the NEC are families and friends’ interest that’s why they are failing to do this job,” he said.
“This country isn’t making progress at all; imagine up to now simple things still giving us hard time,” he lamented.
According to him, the NEC should have put all necessary things in place before conducting the election.
Diggs continued that it’s unfortunate that the NEC will conduct the election poorly after allegedly receiving huge funds from both the government and international partners.
“We can’t continue to do this to ourselves, the funds received by NEC is sufficient to conduct a credible and transparent election void of discrepancies,” he noted.
Also speaking, an elderly woman Theresa Smith said the only reason she had to vote was because voting is a constitutional obligation of every Liberian.
“What am I getting for wasting my time to stand in line for more than six hours? Everything about Liberia seems difficult,” she lamented.
“Imagine voting for someone who will just enrich themselves rather than focusing on the wellbeing of the citizens,” she continued.
She claimed that one of the many reasons that led voters to find it difficult to cast their ballots was NEC’s alleged pick and choose in selecting people to work.
She named the lack of education for voters, incompetent individuals working with NEC, lateness as some of the factors responsible for the challenges that the NEC encountered during the voting process.
Our reporter observed that voters struggled to find their names and room to cast their ballot, something he says led to serious tension at the precinct.
The NEC had announced that voting would have started at 8 a.m. and end by 6 p.m. However, there were delays in starting the process.
Voters had to wait from 8 a.m. to 12 mid-day before polls could open at the Garden of Prayer Pentecostal School System.
The delays led some voters to become impatient and left the queue to go about their normal business.
Some voters complained how their names were allegedly missing from the NEC roster, and NEC staff could not say anything to about that.
The NEC is conducting a presidential and legislative election in which 20 presidential candidates are battling for the country’s highest office.
President Weah is seeking reelection against 19 rivals.
He has been heavily criticized here for inflicting suffering on Liberians, insecurity, economic hardship, and the frequent importation of drugs by individuals, among others.
His main rival is the former Liberian Vice President, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party.